February 21

February 21

Wednesday of the 1st Week of Lent

Mass Readings

First Reading – Jon 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: “”Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”” So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’s bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “”Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”” when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.  When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: “”Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold His blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.”” When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, He repented of the evil that He had threatened to do to them; He did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19 (R. 19b)

R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, You will not spurn.

Have mercy on me, O God, in Your goodness;
in the greatness of Your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me. R.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from Your presence,
and Your Holy Spirit take not from me. R.

For You are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, You would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, You will not spurn. R.

Gospel – Lk 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

Featured Saints

St. Robert Southwell, Priest and martyr (†1595). From a Catholic family, he became a Jesuit priest and secretly served Catholics in the London area until his arrest. He was cruelly tortured, without supplying any information to his tormentors, and finally executed at Tyburn, under Queen Elizabeth I, making the Sign of the Cross while being killed by hanging. His writings are well known.

Blessed Eleanor of Provence, queen consort of England (†1291). Born to noble parents in Aix-en-Provence, France, she was married for 37 years to to Henry III of England, and bore five children. A few years after the king’s death, she retired to the Benedictine abbey of Amesbury as a humble nun, and dedicated the last fifteen years of her life to prayer.

St. Avitus II of Clermont, bishop (†691) He became bishop of the diocese of Clermont in Auvergne, France, in 676, which he governed with holiness until his death.

St. Eustathius, bishop (†circa 338). Bishop of Antioch, exiled to Trajanopolis, present-day Bosnia, by the Emperor Constantius, for defending the Catholic Faith.

St. Germanus, abbot (†c. 667).  He was killed by bandits in the monastery of Grandval, Switzerland.

Blessed Noël Pinot, priest and martyr (†1794). Pastor of Le Louroux-Béconnais, near Angers, guillotined during the French Revolution.

Blessed Maria Enrichetta Dominici, virgin (†1894). Religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Anne of Providence, for thirty years she held the offices of mistress of novices and prioress in Turin.

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